I have too much stuff. We've got these two round cabinets in either corner of the kitchen - the kind with the built-in lazy Susans, with two tiers. Stuff gets lost in there. I thought they were the greatest thing in the world when we moved in here but they've turned out to be something rather different. One of them has become infested with pantry moths and is impossible to clear out. We'd have to dismantle the entire apparatus, and I certainly wouldn't know how to begin. Well, I wouldn't know how to begin in such a way that I would be able to put it back together again. A sledgehammer or flamethrower, I'm told, is entirely inappropriate. (I think the sledgehammer might also require some defiance of the laws of physics to work the way I want. But I digress.) The other one has all this stuff that has accumulated from sources I can't even begin to imagine. I'm thinking... I don't know what I'm thinking. I know we moved some of them into our house from the place we used to live, where they collected dust in our old pantry. Other things fall off the shelves into this kind of abyss behind the lazy Susan, never to be seen again. I can't reach it. Again, I think the flamethrower would be required, and that is a fairly permanent solution.
Eventually I would like to both clean those shelves and put new things on those shelves. Things that we use now, the way we eat now, not the way we ate ten years ago when I was in graduate school and working and had no time to think much less cook. Things in sealed containers to keep the mice away. (The house is over two centuries old. We don't get a lot of them, but they happen. I'd prefer not to encourage them.) Some things will never be used, and the best way to deal with them is to find a food pantry or something and discretely deposit those cans in a basket. (Hey, Mom, guess what fate awaits that can of Spaghetti-Os you left me?) I found some other things on the shelf and I thought, "Well, I could use them in a salad."
Feh. Maybe the flavors of the other dishes I served that day were too strong and enjoyable, but the flavors of the Things In Tins were so insipid as to be unpleasant. I did not care for this one bit. This surprised me, because I didn't think the cans were particularly old and they weren't the super-cheap varieties either. I guess that at least they're off the shelf at least, no longer a threat to the palates of the innocent.
Salad with Things From Tins (serves 4; approx. $1.24/serving)
1/3 very large lettuce (a bag of lettuce from the store will suffice)
1 15 - oz can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 15- oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 - oz can baby corn, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Small bowl
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in your serving vessel.
- Combine the juice and oil in the small bowl. Whisk to emulsify.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.